What Heals?

the ramblings of a raiding holy priest

Being in charge of healers

Posted by whatheals on May 30, 2008

So if you read this you know I have been healing for less than a year and about 2 months ago I, smart or not, told my guild leadership that I wanted to take charge of the healing. Not because the raid leaders couldn’t do it, the two main RL have both been healers they are more than capable of setting up healing, but because I needed to challenge myself. I had become good friends with a priest that was raiding T6 content and he was constantly, and still is, pushing me to become better and he suggested that I should be assigning healers. I thought he was crazy because I watch green bars what did I know about setting up healing? Well I started to read and learn more about the healing classes and became more and more frustrated with the healers that weren’t doing their job in raids. So one night after a raid I grabbed one of the raid leaders in a vent channel and talked to him about it. He, who also pushed me to become better, thought it was a great idea and he brought it to the guild leadership. A couple days later I was setting up healing for my first Gruul run. I was terrified. I made my notes, had all the healers join the guild healing channel and went over my assignments with the raid leader then set them up with he healers. Things went well! They continued to go well and 1 week later I was promoted to a raid leader/healing class leader position in the guild.

Now my struggle is how do I talk to those healers I feel could be better? The priest who only uses flash heal when MT healing, the pally who is has the least healing of the night when he was tank healing, the healers who won’t stay on the assigned target. I find myself pouring over wws reports looking for what is happening and what needs to be changed. At a basic level if people are staying alive and bosses die then I am happy. However I need to address the issues that we have. We are a casual raiding guild so we don’t ask people to spec certain ways or have mandatory attendance but I want to have some standards. 

So I guess my question is how do you talk to your healers about issues?  

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4 Responses to “Being in charge of healers”

  1. maerdred said

    The best piece of advice I can give is do it gently, at first.

    Use WWS to prove your points. If they get defensive, too bad. If you have facts on your side, and your healers are adults, they will take your constructive criticism and learn from it.

    Compare them to themselves using WWS. Ignore comments like “We didn’t wipe!” and “My target lived!” they cloud the issue.

    Point to specifics and facts as much as possible. Do not use generalities. Do not assume. Link them to the WWS report and ask them to explain why it says they did such and such.

    If you have one paladin who’s doing everything you ask and another who isn’t, point at spell rotations and ask the one to give the other advice. Teach, using the tools at your disposal. Do not lecture or pontificate. You want them to hear you and take something from what you are offering. You don’t want them to resent you for calling them out.

  2. Matticus said

    Start out with “Hey, I think you’re doing a good job, but I know you can do better. Here’s how…”.

    Then proceed from there.

  3. Tudi said

    I think it’s important that you earn their trust first. Avoid all possibilities where they could be jealous of you being a raid leader or officer, try to be their friend so to speak. A couple of tips from a holy priest that has been in the same position as you for around a year:

    1. Never call a mistake on them in front of other people. Use /w they’re much less likely to get upset about you pointing it out.
    2. Try to ask first if anyone has any preferences on who to heal in a particular fight. For example, if a paladin that got used to healing through the Barrage at Illidan is placed on one of the two tanks, he’ll feel frustrated if the barraged person dies. Everyone has their own preferences (for example, at Illidari Council, I hate being rogue tank + mage tank healer, but I love being raid healer).
    3. Don’t always assign less experienced/geared healers on less important targets. Show them they’re important to the raid and you trust them with a job. Use this with care though 🙂

  4. Cynra said

    Try a roundabout way first: start a theorycrafting discussion. What works well is to play dumb sometimes and ask a question, which prompts a discussion. For example: “I heard that a lot of priests willl downrank a full rank 7 Greater Heal to rank 4 or even rank 1. What’s the reasoning behind that?”

    If you have a healing channel, use it for discussion. Jump onto the forums to babble about your class, healing strategies, and tips’n’tricks. My favorite raiding group is heavily involved in theorycrafting and my fellow priestly theorycrafter and I muse about anything and everything, from the merits to downranking to why I feel Power Word: Shield is a thoroughly loathesome ability in raiding (my opinions in PvP — specifically Arena — are entirely different, mind you!). The more people get involved and become knowledgeable, the better they’ll be.

    And, as Tudi said, don’t isolate a single player and all them out. That’s a final recourse, when nothing else seems to be working. Approach in the background and resolve it that way if you can. If not, branch out the discussion to the other healers; we all know what is going on, we all have some idea of how to play all of the healing classes well, and peer pressure can be helluva effective when a leader lacks the emotional clout to make changes.

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